Rhodes’ crucial shot propelled the Paine women to a 66-64 win over LeMoyne-Owen on Thursday at the HEAL Complex.
The Lions held a nine-point lead within the final five minutes, but the Magicians crawled back to tie the game at 62 with a minute remaining.
Paine (4-8, 2-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) moved the ball downcourt and found Rhodes open for a 3-point look, which she made for a three-point lead with 46 seconds left.
The Lions held the lead the rest of the game, as LeMoyne-Owen failed to get a shot off as time expired.
Rhodes went 1 for 4 and finished with three points and six rebounds.
“She’s been getting more confident in her shot,” Paine coach Willie Adams said. “She’s shooting well in practice and playing hard.”
Ariel Brown led Paine with 22 points and 11 rebounds, shooting an efficient 6 for 8. Ashley Watts added 21 points.
Paine came out sluggish, shooting 27 percent in the first half, making only 10 field goals while going 0 for 9 on 3-point attempts.
The Lions fell behind 10-4 before climbing back to take their first lead at 12-11 with 11:30 remaining in the half. The teams swapped leads four times in the first half before Paine held a 26-25 advantage at halftime.
Paine fared better in the second half, shooting 37 percent and improving its free-throw shooting. But LeMoyne-Owen (0-12, 0-3) never trailed by more than nine at any point.
“They were persistent,” Adams said. “They kept fighting. It was a tough game.”
Adams attributed being sluggish to a flu bug that has hit the team. He said five players have been affected.